Holiday Hazards in Your Home this Christmas

Everybody loves Christmas and spending Christmas with your beloved pet is even better! However we must remember that our pets are not used to all the exciting new decorations and foods that are going to be around – so we need to take caution with what is safe to feed and have around the house and in reach of our pet.

What Christmas foods are toxic/poisonous to my pet?

  • Alcohol – this can be in drink or food form, exposure to this can in extreme cases cause death. Ensure that all drinks are kept out of reach as well as any food containing alcohol.
  • Chocolate – dark chocolate is more dangerous than milk, exposure to this can cause seizures and even death.
  • Plants: Lillies, holly and mistletoe can be toxic and cause stomach upset if ingested.
  • Grapes, raisins and currants (ingredients of fruitcake) can result in kidney failure in dogs.
  • Cooked turkey/chicken bones – It can be tempting to give these Christmas left overs to your pet. However cooked bone splinters and breaks. This can cause serious damage to your pets mouth, oesophagus and can even get stuck and rip the intestinal tract, avoid giving left over bones at all cost.
  • Christmas tree needles – these are considered mildly toxic and can cause vomiting and gastrointestinal irritation.

Signs of poisoning to look out for:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Lethargy
  • Coughing
  • Shaking
  • Reduce coordination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Excessive drooling
  • Tremors or seizures
  • Laboured breathing
  • Loss of consciousness 
  • Erratic behaviour

Measures to take if your pet has any of these symptoms

  • Try to identify which toxin your pet may have come into contact with and remove from the area.
  • Call your emergency vet or nearest veterinary practice, they will be able to tell you the next steps to take and whether you should bring your pet in to the practice.
  • Do not induce vomiting – this can make matters worse in some cases.